What Is SoundCloud and Is It Free to Use?

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By now, most folks have said their goodbyes to physical media. Although vinyl has made a bit of a comeback. This is because the early 2000s ushered in a new era of music distribution in the form of digital download stores and streaming platforms. 

Girl laying on her back and wearing pink headphones

Apple introduced the iTunes Store in 2003, and since then, we’ve seen YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and many others grow in popularity. And if you’re a music lover, SoundCloud is likely a name you’ve heard of as well. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what SoundCloud is, exactly what the platform provides, and whether or not you’ll need to pull your wallet out of your pocket to enjoy it.

What Is SoundCloud?

SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that was founded in 2007 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss. They met while studying at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, a university known for being one of the best schools in the world for computer science. Having bonded over a mutual love for music, they decided they wanted to create something like Flickr or WordPress but for audio.

What started as a small community for artists to promote their audio offerings has become a strong choice for indie musicians to really get themselves out there. Post Malone, Chance the Rapper, and Kehlani are but a few mainstream music artists that originally started their careers on SoundCloud.

SoundCloud is now a streaming service, a distribution platform for new and upcoming artists, and an online community for fans. But at its core, SoundCloud is all about letting you discover and listen to new music.

At the time of writing, there are over 175 million registered SoundCloud users and over 200 million uploaded tracks. You can access SoundCloud on both the desktop website and mobile app.

Is SoundCloud Free?

The Soundcloud app on the home screen of an iPhone

Listening to music on SoundCloud online is completely free and you don’t even need to create an account to do so. In order to upload and comment on tracks, however, you will need to register. Free users have an upload limit of three hours of audio, and file sizes cannot exceed 4GB. Additionally, a track created by a free user can only be downloaded a maximum of 100 times.

If your account exceeds three hours of uploaded audio, uploading will be temporarily disabled. To continue uploading, you will need to make space for new uploads by either deleting older tracks to get under the free limit, or by upgrading to the Pro Unlimited paid plan.

Related: How to Reduce Mobile Data Usage When Streaming Music

What Is Repost by SoundCloud?

Repost is a small upgrade to the free basic SoundCloud account. For $30/year, you can unlock the following features:

  • Upload track artwork
  • Monetize track plays
  • Get unlimited distribution across all major streaming services
  • Select which regions can play your tracks
  • Pitch your tracks to top playlists
  • Promote on the SoundCloud Discover page
  • Split revenue with collaborators (e.g. fellow band or collective members)
  • Gain access to SoundCloud’s hub of resources from music industry professionals
  • Get guaranteed 1-day support responses
A screenshot of the Soundcloud Discover page

What Is SoundCloud Pro Unlimited?

Users that pay $144/year for SoundCloud Pro Unlimited have access to all of the basic account functions, everything Repost has to offer, and a multitude of other features that you might be interested in if you take music seriously:

  • Upload tracks that are up to six hours and 45 minutes long in length
  • No limit on number of uploaded tracks or how many times your tracks can be downloaded
  • Replace an already-uploaded track with a new file (keeping the plays, stats, and comments untouched)
  • Be more in-touch with your audience with advanced look at listener insights
  • Turn off commenting and viewing public stats
  • Get offered discounts from SoundCloud’s hardware and software partners
  • Access to exclusive Gobbler-SoundCloud suite of audio plugins
  • 24/7 live chat support

What Are SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+?

You don’t need to be a producer to improve your experience with SoundCloud. With SoundCloud Go for $4.99/month, you can save SoundCloud tracks for offline listening, and listen online without advertisements. SoundCloud Go+, which is priced at $9.99/month, gives you high quality audio, and access to an exclusive library of A-list tracks that only Go+ subscribers have.

If you are a student enrolled at a Title IV degree-granting college or university, you can get SoundCloud Go+ for 50 percent off for up to four years.

Two adults listening to music and grooving to it together

SoundCloud Is a Great Place to Discover New Music

SoundCloud is a streaming service, distribution platform, and online community that still delivers on its initial promise of allowing users to discover and share all kinds of music. Even with the rise of competing platforms, it has managed to stay on the pulse of trends and continue to provide a space for artists to promote themselves.

bored-listening-music

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Source: What Is SoundCloud and Is It Free to Use?

By Jessibelle Garcia

Techylawyer and its authors do not claim to have written this article, we acknowledge the works of the original author

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